The National League for Nursing has named UL Lafayette's College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions one of only four Centers of Excellence in Nursing Education in the United States. The designation recognizes schools of nursing with faculty members who do outstanding work that sets them apart, according to the NLN. The schools apply for the three-year designation based on their continual demonstration of excellence in faculty development, nursing education research or student learning and professional development. Dr. Gail Poirrier is dean of UL's College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions, and Dr. Melinda Oberleitner is head of the nursing department. UL joins Excelsior College in Albany, Samford University in Birmingham and University of North Carolina at Greensboro in earning this prestigious title.

Lafayette General Medical Center was ranked in the top 10 percent of hospitals for care of coronary artery bypass patients by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Also at LGMC, President and CEO James Thaw has graduated from Leadership Louisiana 2005, a program of the Council for A Better Louisiana.

Panacea Products has introduced Panacea for Men, a transdermal vitamin and hormone formula to support prostate and sexual health, decrease the risk of heart disease and increase muscle strength and endurance. Other Panacea products include Female Balance and Panacea POWER.

Mona Doucet and Carie McIntyre have joined the staff of Acadiana Otolaryngology Associates. Doucet will serve as office manager and McIntyre as an audiologist.

A clinical nurse specialist and education coordinator for Hospice of Acadiana, Marlene Foreman has published a chapter in a textbook on hospice and palliative nursing. The chapter is titled "Patterns of Disease Progression." Foreman also served as clinical research coordinator for a study on the use of methadone in treating pain in hospice patients and presented the results at a national conference on pain management in Minneapolis.

Opelousas General Health System and OGH Imaging recently held a grand opening for the hospital's new Out-patient Diagnostic Center in Sunset. The $6 million, 10,300-square-foot center is part of OGH's $68 million capital expansion program and will provide routine and specialized MRI exams.

Southwest Louisiana Area Health Education Center is celebrating 15 years of service in southwest Louisiana. The center kicked off a year of anniversary events Dec. 11 with a reception at the Hilton Lafayette.

The Emergency Cardiovascular Care Department of the American Heart Association presented its Chain of Survival award to Lafayette residents Dec. 14. Recipients included Dr. Charles Wyatt of Cardiovascular Institute of the South, Richard Zuschlag of Acadian Ambulance and the Be A Heart Starter bystander CPR event committee.

Women's & Children's Hospital's pediatric wing received visits from University of Southern Mississippi and Arkansas State football players last month. The players were in town for the New Orleans Bowl and visited children; USM players sang "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."

Dr. J. Grant Lashley, a board-certified family physician, has joined Dr. AndreƩ Caillet at the Family Health Plaza of Lafayette General Medical Center. Lashley, who completed his residency and internship at University Medical Center in Lafayette, was in private practice in Boone, NC, before joining Family Health Plaza. He also is a commissioned officer in the U.S. Indian Health Service/Public Health Service and is certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Advanced Trauma Life Support.